Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Of Hexie Finishes & Thimble Holes!

I put in the last hand quilting stitches last night.


It's not like this quilt has been a rush or anything - I started it as a travel project in 1999 when traveling to visit and stay with my grandmother. 

It really was an on again, off again project that stayed in my busy bag at a time when I was really not traveling yet - it would come out a few times a year as just something to do.

When it became apparent that my quilting life was going directions I had never dreamed, I realized if I ever wanted to make good on this project during this lifetime I needed to have ONE busy bag project only, not multiple.

And I not only pushed through this one, but a second one (still yet to be quilted!) so I would have something completely sewn by hand for each of my sons.

This one will go to my son Jason in due time.  He is not in a position to care for it now, living in a tiny studio apartment near Portland, Oregon.  I'm holding it for him.

But I digress.

This photo is of the last knot being tied off and buried - and you can see that yes, these fabrics are at least 20 years old.  As is this project.  So many memories stitched into each piece.

Some have asked how I plan to bind this - I want to keep the picot edge, very easy since the edges of the hexies are already basted under.

I will trim the batting even with the outside edge of the hexies.  Then trim the backing 1/4'' away from the edge of the hexies, and turn that backing fabric in to meet the edge of the hexies and blind stitch it in place.  there will be no applied binding nor facing.  Just a bind stitch.

Not all quilts get a "traditional" binding.  This is one of those.

I have a previous hexie project I also made in the 1990s that is hand quilted and finished this way.  I really like the look and I think it will work well here.

The last completed section.

This morning I did a quick trim to get most of the excess batting and backing fabric off.

Compared to many of my quilts, this really isn't all that large.  Oh, in case you were wondering - the hexies are 3/4'' per side.

No, I haven't counted how many hexagons are in here.  I will at some point, maybe when the binding is finished.  Piece count was never that important to me.

I don't think it's any wonder that my needle worked a hole right through that thimble!

See it?

I sent it off yesterday, and a new one will be coming my way.  In the mean time, I'll be using the spare shown above.

(The stone is a garnet - my birthstone.)

See more TJ Lane thimbles HERE.

Big binding job ahead!

So glad it's not a race, and I will just work on it in the evenings during tv time. Ending the day with some quiet hand stitching is my favorite part of the day.

And because you asked!

We eat gluten free in our house.  Dave has a gluten allergy that causes hives (really NO FUN!) so finding a fast and easy potato soup recipe that does not require a flour roux has been a godsend.

We love hearty soups and stews during the winter months and this one fits the bill.  I was posting on Facebook last night and so many wanted the Instant Pot recipe I'm posting it here.


1/2 package of bacon, diced. (6 to 8 strips)
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
2 lbs russet potatoes peeled and chunked (about 8-9 medium sized)
4 cups chicken broth (I use Better Than Bouillon and water)
1 cup milk + 2 Tbsp milk, divided
2 Tbsp corn starch
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Shredded cheese, chopped chives, bacon bits for garnish at serving.

Set Instant Pot to sauté and add bacon.  While diced bacon cooks to crispy wash, peel and chunk up the potatoes.  You don't have to cut them too small, they'll cook just fine as large chunks.

Dissolve 4 Tbsp of Better Than Bouillon in 4 cups of warm water if not using chicken stock.

When bacon is done, remove it from pot and drain on paper towels.  Save 3 Tbsp of bacon drippings in pot.  With pot still on sauté, add chicken stock/bouillon to pot and scrape any bacon bits off the bottom of the pot to deglaze.

Add potatoes, onion, and thyme to pot.

Close and secure the lid, and pressure cook on high for 8 minutes.  Manually release pressure. 

Remove lid. Switch pot back to sauté.   Mix the 2 Tbsp corn starch with the 2 Tbsp milk until smooth and add to pot. Add the remaining 1 cup milk and 1/2 cup of heavy cream.  Stir as soup begins to thicken, breaking up larger chunks of potato with a potato masher.

We like our soup to have some good chunks in it, so I don't break it up too much. if you like it really creamy, you can use an immersion blender at this point.

Stir the cooked diced bacon back into the soup.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve topped with shredded cheese, chives, bacon bits.

This makes a big batch and we love the leftovers for lunch over the next couple of days.

The soup does get thicker after sitting in the fridge, so we just add more milk to thin it out during reheating.


I'll be adding this post to the recipes tab at the top of the blog under the Instant Pot category so you can find it easily later when you need it.

Today - what am I doing today?  The Brown & Turquoise is waiting binding, but I want to finish the edge of the hexie quilt first.  It can wait its turn.

I have a UFO - another LONG TERM - where I made many units but don't like my original idea for them, so I'm thinking of what else I can do with them.  I'll be at the drawing board for that today -

Plus it's graphics and step outs day for Rhododendron Trail Part Four coming up quickly on Friday!

This shipment arrived yesterday!

If I was sold out when you tried to order over Black Friday weekend - I've got just a handful of each in stock.  You'll find them in the books category of the Quiltville Store.

How about you?  Anything exciting going on? Are you deep into cookie and goodie baking?

Quiltville Quote of the Day-

Vintage Bow Tie quilt found in North Carolina.

I believe this with all of my heart!

Have a lovely Wednesday, everyone!



  1. The quilt is truly spectacular and your son will treasure it!!

  2. Your son’s quilt is gorgeous and it was a labor of love!

  3. Your Hexi quilt is a absolutely amazing! I love it! I am currently working on a hexagon quilt along with Jemima's Creative Quilting, as a hand project. It's so fun and a mystery too! Not sure if I will hand quilt it when finished or not though. I've seen some pretty ones that were edge to edge quilted too. Again, yours is beautiful and festive looking!

  4. What a treasure those hand stitched quilts are. Some day, in the distant future, your sons will hold them close and think of all of the love in them.

  5. That hexie quilt is magnificent, what a job well done!
    Don't you just love the Better than Bouillon, I find myself using it more than the canned or boxed broth, or I add it to one of them, adds so much flavor!

  6. Your heir quilt is magnificent! Congratulations on its final leg! Speaking of gluten free, my husband is gluten free due to celiac sprue. I use sweet rice flour as a replacement for regular flour when I need to make graves or in a roux for stew or creamed soups and sauces. It is indistinguishable from regular gluten filled sauces etc.

  7. WOW! WOW! WOW! This is truly a work of heart. Love it!

  8. Hi Bonnie...instant potato flakes or potato "flour" is a wonderful thickener for gluten free. Who doesn't love a pot of potato soup for dinner!

  9. Celebrating your milestone with you! It's absolutely gorgeous. You inspire me to keep plugging away on my hand piecing projects.

  10. That quilt is absolutely beautiful! It is a true treasure. I sometimes use potato flakes as a thickening. Just a thought. I don't have an instant pot but I'm thinking I should. pam

  11. I hope at some point you stand, gazing at this splendiferous spectactular quilt, with your arms crossed in a big hug to yourself and a whipsered: "Yes!" OMG, Bonnie it's just so beautiful! and thank you for the 'finish/binding' instructions...Cats in Carlsbad CA

  12. What am I working on? Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt, step 3. Eed to make that soup!

  13. You should get a picture of yourself with the quilt over the rail at the inn!

  14. Holy Hexie Bonnie!!! That quilt is, is, there are no words..... spectacular!!!

  15. Bonnie, OMG I've seen a whole lot of beautiful hexie quilts, but yours is by far my favorite! The layout and design are absolutely spectacular! And I can't picture it without the all the different light hexies that give such beautiful movement to the resting places of the quilt. Truly a magnificent heirloom that is sure to be loved and treasured for many generations. Your fan in Port Orange FL, Karen L.

  16. Bonnie congratulations on your finishing the quilting on this beautiful quilt. You started this quilt way before the Hexie thing became the rage. Oh, I know hexies have been around for ages, but you inspired many us us to begin one of these. Myself included. I too only work on it at night while watching TV, when I am not working on an appliqué project. Can’t wait to hear more about the binding process. Always learning something new from you, even this wonderful sounding instant pot potato soup recipe! It is on my list now. I finished my week 3 for your mystery quilt. Only making half of the clues for now. Because of that I don’t feel overwhelmed. Best decision ever. I can always add to it later. After all it’s not a race, like I used to think! Thank you for all you do.

  17. Wow, it is absolutely beautiful!

  18. I am in awe of your hexie quilt. The amount of handwork is well beyond my capabilities.
    I always wondered--what is the difference between the two Quick and Easy Block Tool books?

  19. I use instant potato's to thicken mine

  20. Perfect to do a knife edge. The Hexies are well traveled. I like to use corn starch in my souos. I thought it was you that was Gluten intolerant. Hives are NO fun! Take good care of Hubster Dave! Happy HumpDay, finish up and Mail Day. Checking UPS rates too.

  21. Wow, Bonnie! I've been waiting and watching that hexie quilt grow over the years and it is wonderful. What a great use of your travel time and fabric collection. thank you for sharing it with us.

  22. So beautiful and a wonderful legacy to give to your son.

  23. WOW! Both of your boys will be receiving an heirloom to be treasured. Absolutely stunning!!! And HEY, my birthstone is a garnet as well!!! Almost there!

  24. I remember this quilt from when you were traveling around teaching classes, I loved it then and now look at this masterpiece is finished. Truly a family heirloom. way to go Bonnie you did it!!!

  25. The Hexie quilt is sooo beautiful and it will be a treasured heirloom I am sure.
    Thanks for the Potato soup recipe. It looks yummy!

  26. The Hexie quilt is beautiful, and I love the story of it: working over time, slowly, intentionally, lovingly.

  27. An incredible quilt, a work of art and love.

  28. You and your hexie quilt are such an inspiration as I work on my POTCs quilt. Thank you, Bonnie.

  29. Congratulations on this beautiful hexie quilt, almost done!!!! Thanks for sharing your info on how you will finish the edges. I feel like I have followed this quilt and it’s ‘brother’ from nearly the beginning! So inspiring to see it completed.

  30. "Tortoise shell and Turquoise." Lola is an integrated tortoise shell cat. That is why she has all those different browns. I also like just "Lola."

  31. I love this quilt! I feel like I've been watching progress almost as long as you have been doing it ... Congratulations on the beautiful finish!

  32. Love your Henie quilt . I could look at it for hours!

  33. I love potato soup and have many favorites- I can't wait to try this one. Another way to have a nice thick potato soup, with no flour is to use left-over mashed potatos. If you want those 'chunks' you can always cook up a couple of potatos in chicken stock and add that to the milk and mashed soup. Then any toppings are fair game- sour cream, cheese, broccoli, and of course, bacon! Yum. Welcome fall and winter foods!

  34. Your hexie quilt is gorgeous! That is a true labor of love. I am just starting on making them, I didn't realize how much time they take.
    My son-in-law has celiac disease, I have "poisoned" him a couple of times, so I understand your care for your husband. I use Better Than Bouillon no chicken, sauted onion, and vegetable. Great flavor.
    Have had 2 cataract surgeries in the past two weeks. Wow! what a difference! Everything is brighter and so clear. If anyone is hesitating, go for it.

  35. Oh my! Your hexie quilt is stunning, Bonnie! Absolutely beautiful 😍


If you are commenting as "anonymous" please leave your name at the end of your comment.

Did you know that ad space on this blog provides for all of the free patterns and free mysteries and challenges at no cost to you? Without ads, this blog would not be possible.

Thank you for understanding the many hours that go into this blog 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year. :)